Monthly Archives: October 2012

Be Available

Yesterday something interesting happened.

A friend of mine popped over, we are probably more on the acquaintance side but she’s still a friend nonetheless.

It was about 6:00 in the evening, I was in the middle of cooking dinner, my kitchen hadn’t been cleaned since breakfast and there was a mountain of homework, binders, shoes and socks in the space where my dinning room table should have been.

Her visit was unexpected, my front door was already open from the kids playing outside, she walked in called my name and plopped down at my kitchen table.

I couldn’t help but to notice that a piece of dried up egg from almost 12 hours earlier stabbed her in the elbow as she rested her arms on the table.  I grabbed the dishtowel wiped up the tiny assailant and its quarter dozen accomplainces and pulled up a chair next to her.

As soon as I sat down she began to pour out her frustrations.

I never said, what’s up? or why are you here? She just let go freely without any solicitation.  She went on to discuss her challenges and I listened sincerely and attentively, she asked me several times for my advise.

There was a quick moment in my mind where I was like, I don’t know, I don’t have teenage children, I’ve never been divorced why are you asking me?   In this same quick moment I could smell my Salmon drying out…it wasn’t burning but I knew my oven was sucking all the moisture out of that little sea creature.

I have learned that that stuff doesn’t matter though,  I immediately began to shift my thinking and started encouraging her with the Word of God.  The nice thing about the Word is that it’s a truth that is universal….and though she is not a believer the Truth resonated.

In those split seconds of thinking of what I was going to say and wanting to go rescue my fish, I quietly pushed those thoughts aside and said, “Lord, give me the words to say.”

The Word of God makes me seem smarter than I really am.  It qualifies me to speak on topics that I have no credentials or experience in.

At half past seven my friend left my house with so many of her questions answered, she had a perspective change and exited my door with a peace that she did not enter with.  And trust me it was not because I knew what to say it was because I depended on Him.  God showed me a lot yesterday.

One was how far I’ve come.  A year ago for sure this same scenario would have played out differently.  Now I’ve never been a mean person per say, but I have been selfish, or perhaps a better term is self aware, these would have been the thoughts in my head:

  • Umm why is she here?
  • My house is a mess, let’s talk outside
  • It’s getting kinda late, I still have to X, Y oh and I must do Z
  • I paid $12.99/lb for that fish, hold that thought let me go take it out

There will always be a million reasons and valid excuses to keep us from being 100% available to others.  But in the grand scheme of eternity the deposit that the Father was able to make in my friends life through me is far greater than Moist Salmon.

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Good old Oswald

The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance. Oswald Chambers

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Fragrant

Before I get into what I think this means, I just want to talk about the Bible for a second…it’s amazing, it’s truly the only book that I know of that never gets old. Now I understand why it’s called the Living Word. You can read it over and over and the same passage you skimmed over last week can provide so many answers and revelation in another.  I can not tell you how many times I’ve read Corinthians (both of them) but today, I read this and I’m like, “when did this get in here?”

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

(2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NKJV)

No doubt lately I’ve been dealing with my responsibility to rep Christ to others.  This passages clearly states that through us God diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  (Diffuses: to pour out and to cause to spread freely)

We as human being are responsible for pouring out the knowledge of Christ. It’s important to know that God always uses people.  Sure God is all powerful, all knowing, all well,….. EVERYTHING but when He desires to get a job done He uses us- a bunch of unlikely suspects.

To God we are the forerunners,  the fragrance or representation of Christ, not only to those who know him but to those who are at risk of dying because they do not know Him.  Sounds like a huge responsibility to me and I believe that’s why it says at the end of verse 16 who is sufficient in these things? or in other words who can really handle this?

There is no answer that I see, but I do see something else (verse 16) To some we are the smell of death and to others we are the fragrance of life.

Here’s an illustration, as a child of God I’m like an empty perfume bottle, God fills me with perfume which smells very good by the way. And he gives me the responsibility of spraying that fragrance where ever I go.

Now the reality is that some are going to recognize the smell and love it, perhaps their Grandma wore it when they were a child.

Some will recognize it and hate it, maybe their ex wore it and they were hurt by them.

Some people may have never smelled the fragrance and are intrigued by it, while others are unwilling to give something unfamiliar a try.

I could go on and on with examples, but my point is, the burden of being used by God is really not a burden at all.

I have such a hard time simplifying my responsibility  I want to step in and play master chemist and create these wonderful fragrances that I’m sure everyone will love.  But that’s soooo not the case, it’s not my job to give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7)

My responsibility lies in simply staying empty, being ready, being willing, being lead (verse 14). My job is to disperse, God will reel in the victories.(Luke 5:4-5)

With a sincere heart and a sweet aroma, be encouraged to share the Love and the Knowledge of Christ with everyone that you come in contact with.

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October 24, 2012 · 3:21 am

Let your gifts make room for you

How is the fulfillment of vision meant to work in practical terms?

Proverbs 18:16 is a powerful statement that reveals the answer: “A man’s gift makes room for him” (NKJV). What you were designed to be known for is your gift.

God has put a gift or talent in every person that the world will make room for.

It is this gift that will enable you to fulfill your vision.

It will make a way for you in life. It is in exercising this gift that you will find real fulfillment, purpose, and contentment in your work.

It is interesting to note that the Bible does not say that a man’s education makes room for him, but that his gift does.

Somehow we have swallowed the idea that education is the key to success. Our families and societies have reinforced this idea to us, but we will have to change our perspective if we are to be truly successful.

Education is not the key to success.

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in education. However, if education were the key to success, then everyone who has a Ph.D. would be financially secure and happy.

If you are intelligent but are not exercising your gift, you’re probably going to be poor. If you’re educated but have not developed your talent, you’re likely going to be depressed, frustrated, and tired.

You will hate going to work on Monday mornings.

Education, in itself, doesn’t guarantee anything.

It is your gift that is the key to your success.

The second part of Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift…brings him before great men” (NKJV). You don’t realize that the gift you’re sitting on is loaded.

The world won’t move over for you just because you’re smart.

However, when you exercise your gift, not only will the world make room for you, but it will also pay you for it.

Anyone – yourself included – who discovers his or her gift and develops it will become a commodity.

If you’re a young person in high school or college who is planning your career, don’t do what people say will make you a lot of money. Do what you were born to do, because that is where you will make your money. No matter how big the world is, there’s a place for you in it when you discover and manifest your gift.

Alexander Graham Bell believed that sound could be converted into electrical impulses and transmitted by wire.

No one remembers those who thought he was crazy.

We remember only the man who had the vision and created the telephone.

If you do things in a halfway manner, you can always find a job somewhere. Yet if you do just enough to get by, you are going to remain simply an employee.

However, if you decide that you’re going to find something that is truly yours, then you will fulfill your vision, and you will be remembered by others.

Miles Monroe

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October 23, 2012 · 6:07 pm

I saw this in Jakarta on a wall

Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words

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Thorns

We often glamorize Christianity…thinking that once we come to Christ or really decide to live our lives for the Savior that life becomes peaches and cream.  Gladly and sadly this is not true.  Our first experience with the Lord can be likened to “the honeymoon phase”  where life is wonderful, we pray, God answers all our prayers, He delivers us, He fulfills us,  He’s this wonderful being that we can’t get enough of.  Early in our walk we spend time reading, attending service, worshiping  fellowshipping, telling everyone we know, etc and etc.  Then for some of us life sets in,  the romance is gone… a prayer or two goes unanswered, we question the presence of “bad things” in our lives and we give up.  For others of us we simply can’t handle the pressure of living right. The persecution from friends, denying our flesh simple pleasures and the burden of having to stay connected with something we can’t see or feel causes us to throw in the towel.  For those of us who chose to stay in this race, our struggles are different. If I can abandon the third person for a moment, I can say the struggle is constant.  Everyday the cares of this world are vying for my attention and everyday I must fight to make sure my first Love is not replaced by anyone or anything.  I know that I am not perfect. I know this race is not a sprint, its a marathon.  I voluntarily abandon my imperfections and I’m so willing to run steady and endure to the end, yet I’m still challenged.  This walk would be so much easier if I was a robot.  If I was programmed to love God, not prone to mistakes or weaknesses.   But we all know Robot Love is not Real Love and just like He said to Paul, He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”  In many ways my frailty keeps me close to the Throne, it keeps me evaluating and striving for perfection.  As much as I want to abort the pain….like a woman in her third trimester lamenting that she can’t turn back now, I realize that something beautiful must be birthed. My response,   “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Scripture Reference

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Ecclesiastes 9:11

2 Timothy 4:7

Matthew 24:13

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